Category Archives: Science

Posts about the variety of science and their (assumed) knowledge.

Video: 650 million years in 120 seconds

Video: 650 million years in 120 seconds

Some time ago I found this video on dailymotion.com, which sent me on a real trip. Countless times I watched the video, meditating on it and pondering which meaning my oh so vain ego fulfils in this wonderful world.

Experience perishability in 120 seconds

(Edit: It’s a flv video which does not play right now… sorry. You can download it.)

 

See how the earth’s face changes in 650 million years in this continental drift animation. See all your egocentrism crushed by Africa – at least if you live in Europe… (not shure, but the vid might come from BBC)

If you think that someone threatens your little garden and wants to steal your accumulated riches, you should check the correctness of your values – fear is a bad guide. Just for this task the video is perfectly suitable:

First you will start to feel lost. Sometime after that you should have slowly dissolved, floating in a cosmic condition which is not easy to endure. But, slowly, you then should start to feel truly at home – and you’ll get closer to the mystical point of no return. No need to ask for what you want anymore, but to find out who you are…

Just to remind you: Homo Sapiens walks since 300’000 to 400’000 years – that’s not even half a million, while life started about 2500 million years ago and civilization is a few millennia old. Do you really think you control anything?  If you do, then it’s your charity, nothing more.

Carnegie Mellon Lecture: Global Climate Change

Carnegie Mellon Lecture: Global Climate Change

On YouTube I stumbled upon this actual lecture about Climate Change. It is mainly in three parts:

  • Facts about climate change from an environmental point of view
  • Needs and possibilities to master the challenge
  • Economical views on the subject

The question of why America sends annual 300 Mrd $ to foreign countries for oil, which is answered with Lenin’s quote „The capitalists are so hungry for profits that they will sell us the rope to hang them with.“, and the addition „…and they will send us the money to buy the rope“ is a very typical view for Americans somehow, I think. Cowboy Smiley

Nevertheless, with todays technics our vehicles could be 50 %, buildings 80 % more efficient without change in lifestyle. Acting is not a question of money or ideology, but of intelligence.

What not comes in numbers here is the benefit in public health due to better air and water quality. Nothing is really new here, but the arguments may help you out in the field…

(Dr. Lester Lave, Co-Director Carnegie Mellon Electrical Industry Center; Dr. M. Granger Morgan, Director of the Climate Decision Making Center; Edward Rubin, Professor in Engineering and Public Policy and Mechanical Engineering, 1:15)

If you wanna know it really exactly, watch the following video too, which outlines the research and the process behind the Global Climate Change Report to the Bush administration in 2002. So yes, they know: Global warming is fact, it’s due human activities, without sun activities being a reason etc.

(And yes, this is a very dry one, but gives an excellent overview on the complexity of the matter, if you’d like to be fed with data, numbers and formulas by Ralph Cicerone, Chancellor of the University of California at Irvine, 1:10)

The Blue Brain of Lausanne

The Blue Brain of Lausanne

(Update Nov. 2009): German Article on Zeit Online http://www.zeit.de/2009/21/PD-Markram

On futur:plom I stumbled over a link to an article „Out of the blue“ on seedmagazine which describes the Blue Brain Project (with some nice simulation videos) from Lausanne here in Switzerland. It started in 2005 and aimed in a first step at creating a digital model of a single neuron.

In December 2006 the project reached the goal of simulating 10’000 neurons, which equivalents a 0.5 x 2 mm slice of a rat brain. To get me right: This project is not about emulating a brain by translating brain work into digital code in form of a tamagotchi – this is a supercomputer with 22.8 teraflops to simulate neuron networks on a biological level. The computer doesn’t think like a brain, the computer is acting as a neuron network.

Neuron with simulation data mapped in color.

Neuron with simulation data mapped in color.

Next step will be simulating a whole rat brain, then a human brain. The road map of ten years to this point may be a bit scary, but I like the approach because this is not reductionist science. By digitally rebuilding a brain we may get a better understanding of nature, which is more a holistic system than a four-dimensional machine. We may enjoy a paradigm shift in the near future… :please:

Now the really interesting part is about consciousness. Will this computer get one? Today I think possibly yes, because I don’t see consciousness as something mystical – thinking words, imagine pictures and planning strategies is simply an evolutionary advance. But there’s too this kind of consciousness one can reach by hushing the brain. In ordinary words: Will this computer get charity? Mercy? Will it see dying soldiers simply as collateral damage?

I guess so. In fact, from a certain point of view, the individual is not important – only the surviving of the system is. Valuation of individuals is a relatively new phenomena and actually bad for the gen pool.

It depends on what is defined as the system. Is it a tribe or an ethnic group, humanity or the earth, the universe? At this point Stanislav Lem comes to mind, especially his story „Golem XIV„. This technological singularity judged war simply as illogical (By the way: „Golem XIV“ is a must read in many ways!). However, I don’t think such computers will find a benefit in meditation – aside from standby mode.

Since „Out of the blue“ is a nine page read, you can get a small excerpt if you click on read more. And what do you think: Can a technological singularity reach higher consciousness? Speaking in the concept of souls: Can a machine get a soul? Or can humans „bewitch“ machines and get them a soul? Or is anyway everything illusion, including me typing this?

Read the rest of this entry

The Nokia Morph Concept

The Nokia Morph Concept

Here’s a small view in our communication future. Imagine a piece of plastic film which fulfills all your needs in every days live:


(Seen on futur.plomlompom.de)

Some thought about this:

  • body related:
    • To have a solar powered smart phone, a palmtop, a mp3-player, an environment and health analyzer, a camera, a memory device, a paycard and eventually a folded flying carpet in a plastic film is a beautiful concept. You don’t have to lock it away if you go swimming.
    • I definitely wouldn’t like to have it hardwired to my brain. Unless the hotline to Manitou is integrated too.
    • They don’t say anything about the expected SAR-value. Even in five or ten years I wouldn’t like my wrist cooked.
    • Nice to have a device to warn me about pollution in the apple I’m about to eat or in the air I’m breathing – but can it act as a mask too?
    • I like most the unbreakable touchscreen and the superhydrophobic surface.
    • Please no Windows 3000 CE!
  • mind related
    • Such devices should get a overall function lock: To prevent brain degeneration you must enter every day some reflecting thoughts about your life or your surrounding world, play some chess, be creative with it in an artistic way or sit down/meditate quietly for some time – otherwise you’ll get a bluescreen.
    • If I ask for time, it should make me guess first to train my intuition.
    • If I think of paying my tea – can it send a remark on the waiters to-do-list?
  • soul related
    • If I’m getting angry because the waitress is not coming – can it automatically send a GPS-location from me to her Nokia Morph with an acoustic beep, overriding her bluescreen? Ideally with a navigation path for her.
    • I miss the ability to generate an automated playlist depending on my mood.
    • If a Morph-wearing child or woman is mistreated, it should inform the next social worker or the police at once.
    • The mistreating person should get an electroshock.
    • Once an emotional network is established, it can inform me «Caution: Angry racer behind!», «Distracted manager ahead!» or «Grandpa in gateway!» while flying on it.

Seriously, I believe technology can help to save our future – especially with efficiency. Also I believe in the importance to stay in focus with the real problems. What advantage do I have if I’m connected with the whole world but loose the connection to myself.

Maybe it’s evolutions way that we need to play around until it gets boring – so we can turn in searchers for truth again. Hopefully nature gives us enough time.

Killing fuss

Killing fuss

In ‚Dying for some quiet: The truth about noise pollution‚ in the NewScientist they state that

«…the WHO’s findings suggest that long-term exposure to traffic noise may account for 3 per cent of deaths from ischaemic heart disease in Europe – typically heart attacks.»

In Europa alone probably half a million lifeyears are lost anually.

Killing fussNothing new are the facts that chronical niose pollution cause sleep disorder, hardness of hearing and learning disorders.

But really interesting is this:

A Swedish survey in Munich has shown a 25 % advancement of childrens long-term memory in th area of the airport Riem, after it was closed. Just impressive is the fact of a memory decline in the same degree in the area of the new Munich airport since it started operation.

So, what do we learn? Wearing ear muffs should be obligatory… 😐

Global Dimming

Global Dimming

industry and greenhouse gases

English (deutsch siehe unten)

If you thought it would be nice to have mediterranean temperatures in middle Europe by two more degrees Celsius in 2025, you must know that there is a good chance we’d have an increase of four degrees that year. And with it the dryness of nord Africa.

You ask why? Particulate matter might decrease the effect of greenhouse gases by its half, Nowadays, with all the particle filters, we’ll eventually get a nice burn in the future – simple, isn’t it?

Watch this BBC-documentation on YouTube and spread the word:

Global Dimming
(edit: Updated the videolinks)

Deutsch

Wer dachte, es wäre hübsch, in Mitteleuropa Mittelmeerklima zu haben, indem es 2 Grad wärmer wird, muss damit rechnen, dass es bis dann 4 Grad wärmer geworden ist. Und damit hier so trocken wie in Nordafrika.

Wie das gehen soll? Feinstaub in der Atmosphäre dürfte den Effekt der Treibhausgase um die Hälfte dämpfen. Mit den heutigen Partikelfiltern werden wir uns vielleicht einen netten Sonnenbrand einfangen.

Guck Dir dazu diese BBC-Doku auf YouTube:

Global Dimming Teil 1 | Teil 2 | Teil 3 | Teil 4 | Teil 5

The Power of Ten

The Power of Ten

Power of TenToday was a beautiful day and I was out by the river the first time this year with my Lapsteel playing. Looking at the water, this old movie «Power of ten» (YouTube video, 9 min.) from 1977 came to my mind. Read the details on wikipedia.

Well, this is now 30 years old, so I did some googling and found some more interesting, newer things. First, there’s a newer version of something similar: the Cosmic Voyage (YouTube, 4 min.) from 1996. This is unfortunately only the part of the journey similar to the former Power of Ten, I couldn’t find the whole movie, which is also described on Wikipedia.

Here’s also a slideshow-version from this idea to show the cosmos. I found even a version from the famous Simpsons animation series 🙂 .

There’s also a very interesting dissertation from astrophysicist Mike Norman on Google video (56 min). He takes you on an unprecedented journey across space and time to witness the formation of galaxies and cosmic structure as well as the formation of one of the first stars to shine in the universe.

His dissertation features also this by far the best animated virtual journey (YouTube, ca. 4 min.), calculated with accurate data from the actual cosmic science. So it’s up to date with data and computer rendering technique. Here are some screenshots (click for bigger versions, threy’re the best resolution I could get):

Orion and Horsehead NebulaThe journey will start at our solar system and the first impressing step is the Orion Nebula (right), 1000 light-years away, with the Horsehead Nebula (middle) in the background.

Our MilkywayWe then turn around to see a fictive picture of our own home galaxy, the Milkyway. Fictive because we still cannot shoot a picture of our galaxy… 😉 .

M-33 and the Andromeda galaxyThen we will pass through the galaxy M-33 (right) towards the giant Andromeda galaxy with the blue outskirts (top left). In the middle another star forming Nebula in M-33, like the Orion Nebula, but much larger. We’re about 1 million light-years away from home.

Virgo ClusterWhat looks like a couple of stars is actually the Virgo Cluster, about 28 mio light-years away, our local cluster of galaxies. Each white dot is a whole galaxy and the destination of this animated journey.

So, finally, if you look at the sky next time, try to imagine the 28 million light-years distance to our nearest galaxy cluster, which is only one of all them out there…

Weltproblem Radikalismus

Weltproblem Radikalismus

(all german)

Das Philosophische Quartett vom 29. Oktober 2006 mit den Gästen Roger Willemsen und Dr. Gunnar Heinsohn. Hier der Link zum Stream:

http://www.zdf.de/ZDFmediathek/inhalt/4/0,4070,3998532-0,00.html

Die These

Machen junge Männer Krieg?

Gunnar Heinsohns wilde Thesen – und eine Berliner Studie zur Weltbevölkerung (von Reiner Klingholz)

Der amerikanische Geheimdienst CIA publizierte im Jahr 1995 das Papier Demografische Hintergründe für ethnische Konflikte. Darin ging es um die Frage, ob rasches Bevölkerungswachstum zu politischer Instabilität führen kann. Denn dieses erwirkt zwangsläufig einen youth bulge, eine Beule in der demografischen Kurve, einen Ãœberhang an jungen Menschen, die keinen Platz in der Gesellschaft finden. Die Studie kam zu dem Ergebnis, dass Mord und Totschlag drohen, sobald die Altersgruppe der 15- bis 24-Jährigen einen Anteil von 20 Prozent an der Gesamtbevölkerung übersteigt. Read the rest of this entry